Announced during a press conference on May 14, Idaho will move into Step Two of the Four Step plan to reopen Idaho’s State Economy on May 16.
Meaning restaurants, gyms, salons and other small businesses can open so long as they are able to follow state and health guidelines.
There is also a focus on the Governor’s part to help small businesses survive the economic downfall caused by the pandemic, by providing a 30-day supply of personal protective equipment to small businesses.
“Health and the economy are not mutually exclusive, they are interconnected,” said Gov. Brad Little in a press release. “It’s been a challenge for small businesses to acquire PPE in quantities appropriate for their size. We don’t want the lack of access to PPE to inhibit small businesses from opening, and this new resource is an interim bridge to help them get back to work safely and build consumer confidence while the supply chain normalizes.”
As of May 1, 90% of small businesses were able to open their doors. On Saturday, another 5% will be able to open their businesses, Gov. Little explained in the release.
In consideration to Idaho’s universities, Gov. Little said that opening in the Fall will depend on the magnitude of the situation in each region.
“There is a high degree of risk,” Gov. Little said in Thursday’s press conference. “This COVID virus has created a much higher degree of risk in everybody’s life. But, it is really dependent upon continuing the great behavior that we have had before so if that continues.
“I am sure that the leaders of these institutions are going to advise their students when they come back, if they come back to the regular campus, that if they were sick they can’t come back, and their health care standards will be much higher and there will be much more testing in place.”
Gov. Little encourages common sense and good behavior to help flatten the curve as well.
“Generally, things are better in Idaho than elsewhere,” Gov. Little explained in a press release. “We were one of the last states in the country to have a confirmed case, and now, because of the great people of Idaho, we are one of the first states to reopen our economy responsibly with a staged plan.”
Now, Gov. Little said Idaho’s economy will depend on employee and consumer confidence.
“We cannot be inattentive to the practices that got us here,” Gov. Little said in the release. “We all must continue practicing preventive measures such as wearing face coverings in public, washing hands and surfaces frequently, and limiting exposure to others.”